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Proposed Bethlehem budget to cover wage increases

"We had to cut that and cut other requests of a similar nature," said Messina, who added that he feels the budget is a strong one.

"It's a tight budget, but I think it's going to work out very well."

Messina said he agrees that across-the-board salary increases for town employees was necessary.

"People are our most important resource at all levels," said Messina. "They are extremely valuable to the delivery of service we have."

Two new positions in the tentative budget include a new senior outreach worker and a coordinator for storm water management.

The Bethlehem town budget represents only 12 percent of a property taxpayer's overall tax obligation, according to town officials. School and library taxes make up 70 percent of the obligation, with county taxes amounting to 13 percent.

"I feel good about the budget," Kotary said. "We made difficult choices." "It's never perfect."

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